The Localism Bill


The Localism Bill was introduced to Parliament by the Coalition Government after the General Election 2010.

The Government’s Localism agenda seeks to empower the public to have a greater say over the design of their communities. Of particular relevance to our campaign is the introduction of local referendums.

As part of our Power lines and Leukaemia: The EMF Campaign, it is crucial that the development of our communities - and in particular the location on power lines and pylons - reflects the ‘precautionary principle’ in relation to the location of homes, schools and placement of power lines and the possible link between an increased link with childhood leukaemia.

The Bill will give local residents the power to instigate, via a petition, local referendums on any local issue. It is widely expected to be utilised, amongst other things, to prevent unwanted or ill-considered developments in communities.

Obviously then the introduction of local referendums will prove a vital tool in empowering the general public to prevent power lines being sited in places where they ‘may’ present a risk to the children.

Alongside this is the broader reform of the planning system and in particular the development of new Neighbourhood Plans, which are intended to give local people new rights to shape the development of their communities.

Our key points on the Localism Bill are:

  • We are broadly supportive of the Government’s Localism Bill and the Localism agenda.
  • We strongly support the proposition in the Bill to empower the public to have a greater say over the design of their communities.
  • The Bill gives local residents the power to instigate, via a petition, a referendum on any local issue in order to prevent unwanted or ill-considered developments including power lines. We believe the power of referenda will offer communities an invaluable say in the design of their community, not only reflecting our concerns about power lines but also helping to protect our towns and countryside from ill-considered development.
  • The UK is about to embark upon the biggest phase of construction of power lines since the 1960s. We believe that green spaces, especially those in towns, open land and the countryside, need to be protected from development, including power lines, to maintain and create open spaces, parks and play areas in communities.
  • We support the Government’s reform of the planning system and for the opportunity the Localism Bill presents for members of the public to have a greater say over the design of their communities.


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